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The University of Southampton
Engineering

Rolls-Royce University Technology Centre in Propulsion Systems Noise

The Institute of Sound and Vibration Research at the University of Southampton plays host to the Rolls-Royce University Technology Centre in Propulsion Systems Noise.

An aircraft engine
Reducing aircraft engine noise

The UTC consists over 25 members and undertakes a programme of research in aeroacoustics focusing on developing and improving noise technology, products and processes of application to current and future aircraft engines.

Aircraft noise is generated by multiple sources many of which are associated with turbulent, unsteady motion. All must be reduced to achieve a significant reduction in overall noise.

Our research activities include theoretical, computational and experimental studies of aircraft noise sources. We have particular interests and expertise in the design of acoustic liners to reduce noise radiated from intake and bypass ducts, the development of improved models for fan broadband noise and jet noise, and their integration within whole aircraft noise prediction schemes.

We are also responsible for developing and exploiting advanced measurement techniques for rig and full-scale engine noise tests, and for appraising noise data acquired in industrial test facilities by Rolls-Royce and other industrial partners.

In addition to the support from Rolls-Royce we are funded by the UK TSB, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and the European Commission. We also have close collaborative relationships with airframe and nacelle manufacturers.

Contact us

Telephone: +44 (0)23 8059 2291

Email: noiseutc@southampton.ac.uk  

Postal address:

Rolls-Royce University Technology Centre in Propulsion Systems Noise
Institute of Sound and Vibration Research
University of Southampton
Southampton SO17 1BJ
United Kingdom

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Find out how we're making history

Academic Staff

Keith Holland

Phillip Joseph

Jae Wook Kim

Alan McAlpine

Chaitanya Paruchuri

Rodney Self

Wilson A.G.

Consultant

Parry A.

Administrative Staff

Brindle S.J.

Research Fellows

Adetifa O.E.

Akiwate D.C.

Jack LT Lawrence

Liu X.

Paul B Murray

Proenca A.

Sugimoto R.

Brian Tester

Wu L.

Research Students

Hawkins R.

Ho Y.W.

James A.O.

Palani S.

Palleja Cabre S.

Rouvas D-M.

Wellman M.

Zaabar K.

 

Training future pioneers

We are helping to train the aeroacoustics pioneers of the future and offer postgraduate research opportunities including funded PhD studentships run in conjunction with Rolls-Royce.

Short-term internships to undergraduate and master’s students can also be available. The typical duration is three to six months.

 

Employment opportunities

We offer exciting research opportunities to join a vibrant community and work alongside world-leading academics in the field of aeroacoustics. Our research is constantly working on a variety of interesting projects, often pioneering entirely new concepts and technology.

View our publications they are in order of year:

2019

Sureshkumar P, Kingan M, Parry A. Predicting the Noise of an Open Rotor in a Wind Tunnel. International Journal of Aeroacoustics, 2019, 18, 414-43.

Cannard M, Joseph P, Chaitanya P, Kim J W. Physical mechanisms in the use of slitted leading-edge profiles for enhanced reduction of interaction noise. 25th AIAA/CEAS Aeroacoustics Conference, Delft The Netherlands, 20-24 May 2019.

Chaitanya P, Vellanki P,  Kalyan A, Coupland J, Joseph P. Low noise OGV design using bayesian optimisation. 25th AIAA/CEAS Aeroacoustics Conference, Delft The Netherlands, 20-24 May 2019.

Dawson M, Lawrence J L, Self R H, Kingan M J. Validation of jet-surface interaction noise models in flight. 25th AIAA/CEAS Aeroacoustics Conference, Delft The Netherlands, 20-24 May 2019.

James A, Sugimoto R, McAlpine A, Astley R J, Wilson A G. Modelling of boundary layer effects on the propagation of buzz-saw noise in lined duct. 25th AIAA/CEAS Aeroacoustics Conference, Delft The Netherlands, 20-24 May 2019.

Mao Y, Wilson A G, Joseph P, Paruchuri C, Parry A B, Carugno P. Wave response functions for a cascade of blades with an arbitrary camber. 25th AIAA/CEAS Aeroacoustics Conference, Delft The Netherlands, 20-24 May 2019.

Mazella L, Paruchuri C, Joseph P. Experimental investigation of the noise control performance of leading edge serrations in a rectilinear cascade. 25th AIAA/CEAS Aeroacoustics Conference, Delft The Netherlands, 20-24 May 2019.

Palleja-Cabre S, Tester B J, Astley R J, Beriot H. Fan noise suppression with Over-Tip-Rotor liners: impedance modelling of acoustically treated circumferential grooves (Presentation). 23rd CEAS-ASC Workshop, Rome, Italy, 26 September 2019.

Palleja-Cabre S, Tester B J, Astley R J, Bozak R F. Modelling of over-the-rotor acoustic treatments for improved  noise suppression in turbofan engines. 25th AIAA/CEAS Aeroacoustics Conference, Delft The Netherlands, 20-24 May 2019.

Proenca A R, Lawrence J L, Self R H. Experimental investigation into the turbulence flow field of in-flight jets. 25th AIAA/CEAS Aeroacoustics Conference, Delft The Netherlands, 20-24 May 2019.

Tester B J, Ekoule C M, Quaranta E. An improved phased array method for estimating free-field engine core noise spectra from test cell measurements on short cowl engines. 25th AIAA/CEAS Aeroacoustics Conference, Delft The Netherlands, 20-24 May 2019.

Turner J M, Kim J W. Frequency dependency of sound attenuation due to wavy leading edges. 25th AIAA/CEAS Aeroacoustics Conference, Delft The Netherlands, 20-24 May 2019.

Venkatesh B J, Self R H. Preliminary Cone of Silence Prediction Using RANS Based Jet Noise Prediction Method. 25th AIAA/CEAS Aeroacoustics Conference, Delft The Netherlands, 20-24 May 2019.

Wilson A G. Non-linear acoustic propagation in circumferentially non-uniform mean flow. 25th AIAA/CEAS Aeroacoustics Conference, Delft The Netherlands, 20-24 May 2019.

Xiong L, Sugimoto R, Quaranta E. Effects of turbofan engine intake droop and length on fan tone noise. 25th AIAA/CEAS Aeroacoustics Conference, Delft The Netherlands, 20-24 May 2019.

Zaabar K, Wilson A G. A non-reflective boundary condition for prediction of acoustic tones in turbomachinery using computational fluid dynamics. 25th AIAA/CEAS Aeroacoustics Conference, Delft The Netherlands, 20-24 May 2019.

2018

Adetifa O E, McAlpine A, Gabard G. Nonlinear propagation of supersonic fan tones in turbofan intake ducts. AIAA Journal, 2018, 56(1), 316-28.

Chaitanya P, Joseph P. Slitted leading edge profiles for the reduction of turbulence-aerofoil interaction noise. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 2018, 143(6), 3494-504.

Gaffney J, McAlpine A, Kingan M. A theoretical model of fuselage pressure levels due to fan tones radiated from an installed turbofan aero-engine. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 2018, 143(6), 3394-405.

Mathews J, Chen J, Joseph P. Modal cut-off ratio in ducts with realistic flow profiles and its application to acoustic mode detection. Journal of Sound and Vibration, 2018, 434, 404-21.

Tester B J, Glegg S. Phased array transformation methods to estimate non-compact jet noise source characteristics. International Journal of Aeroacoustics, 2018, 17(4-5), 380-98.

Cannard M, Joseph P, Kim J-W, Paruchuri C. Numerical investigation into slitted leading-edge profiles for reducing interaction noise. ICSV25, Hiroshima, Japan, 8-12 July 2018.

Ekoule C M, Tester B J, Funke S, Richter C. Development of an improved core noise prediction method for long-cowl engines. 24th AIAA/CEAS Aeroacoustics Conference, Atlanta, Georgia, 25-29 June 2018, AIAA-2018-4090.

Hart A, Holland K, Joseph P. Enhancing array techniques for measuring jet engine combustion noise using a modal isolation method. 24th AIAA/CEAS Aeroacoustics Conference, Atlanta, Georgia, 25-29 June 2018, AIAA-2018-2967.

Lacagnina G, Chaitanya P, Berk T, Joseph P, Hasheminejad S M, Stalnov O, Ganapathisubramani B. Effect of leading edge serrations in reducing aerofoil noise near stall conditions. 24th AIAA/CEAS Aeroacoustics Conference, Atlanta, Georgia, 25-29 June 2018, AIAA-2018-3285.

Paruchuri C, Joseph P, Mao Y, Wilson A. Prediction of turbulence-cascade interaction noise using modal approach. 24th AIAA/CEAS Aeroacoustics Conference, Atlanta, Georgia, 25-29 June 2018, AIAA-2018-3781.

Paruchuri C, Joseph P, Ayton L J. On the superior performance of leading edge slits over serrations for the reduction of aerofoil interaction noise. 24th AIAA/CEAS Aeroacoustics Conference, Atlanta, Georgia, 25-29 June 2018, AIAA-2018-3121.

Wilson A G. Calculation of acoustic transfer functions for smooth ducts of varying cross section and non-uniform mean flow using Eigen analysis in general curvilinear coordinates. 24th AIAA/CEAS Aeroacoustics Conference, Atlanta, Georgia, 25-29 June 2018, AIAA-2018-3776.

2017

Adetifa O E, McAlpine A, Gabard G. Nonlinear Propagation of Supersonic Fan Tones in Turbofan Intake Ducts. AIAA Journal, 56(1), 2017, 316-18.

Gaffney J, McAlpine A, Kingan M. Fuselage boundary-layer refraction of fan tones radiated from an installed turbofan aero-engine. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 141(3), 2017, 1653-63.

Melling J, Chen J, Joseph P. Experimental investigation of a new two-microphone method for the determination of broadband noise radiation from ducts.  Applied Acoustics 117, 2017, 66-75.

Chen J, Tester B, Joseph P. Application and validation of the two-microphone method for acoustic mode detection in aero-engines. Presentation - 21st Workshop of the Aeroacoustics Specialists Committee of the CEAS Workshop, Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland, 13-15 September 2017.

Ekoule C M, McAlpine A, Kingan M J, Sohoni N. Development of a Hybrid method for the prediction of advanced open rotor tone noise. 23rd AIAA/CEAS Aeroacoustics Conference, Denver CO, 5-6 June 2017, AIAA-2017-3870.

Gazella M R, Takakura T, Sutliff D, Bozak R, Tester B J. Evaluating the acoustic benefits of over-the-rotor acoustic treatments installed on the advanced noise control fan. 23rd AIAA/CEAS Aeroacoustics Conference, Denver CO, 5-6 June 2017, AIAA-2017-3872.

Hart A, Holland K, Joseph P. A 3 microphone method to separate direct and in-direct combustion noise inside a turbofan jet engine annular combustor. ICSV24, London, 23-27 July 2017.

Lacagnina G, Hasheminejad S M, Chaitanya P, Joseph P, Chong T P, Stalnov O. Leading edge serrations for the reduction of aerofoil separation self-noise. 23rd AIAA/CEAS Aeroacoustics Conference, Denver CO, 5-6 June 2017, AIAA-2017-4169.

Lacagnina G, Hasheminejad S M, Chaitanya P, Joseph P, Chong T P, Stalnov O. Reduction of aerofoil separation self-noise by Leading Edge serrations. Presentation - 21st Workshop of the Aeroacoustics Specialists Committee of the CEAS Workshop, Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland, 13-15 September 2017.

Maldonado A L P, Astley R J. On the prediction of the effect of interstage liners in turbofan engines: A parametric study. 23rd AIAA/CEAS Aeroacoustics Conference, Denver CO, 5-6 June 2017, AIAA-2017-4191.

Proenca A R, Lawrence J L, Self R H. A survey of the turbulence statistics of a model-scale installed jet at low and moderate Mach numbers. 23rd AIAA/CEAS Aeroacoustics Conference, Denver CO, 5-6 June 2017, AIAA-2017-3705.

Rosa V, Proenca A, Self R H, Ilario C, Wang Z, Naqavi I. Sound of transverse momentum fluxes in circular subsonic jets. 23rd AIAA/CEAS Aeroacoustics Conference, Denver CO, 5-6 June 2017, AIAA-2017-3707.

Tester B J, Sijtsma P. Measurement and analysis of phased array data on haystacked tones from a source located in a free jet. 23rd AIAA/CEAS Aeroacoustics Conference, Denver CO, 5-6 June 2017, AIAA-2017-3864.

Tester B J. An improved inverse-phased array method for estimating free-field engine core noise spectra from measurements in reverberant test cells. ICSV24, London, 23-27 July 2017.

Wilson A G. Eigen analysis in general curvilinear coordinates for prediction of noise propagation in aeroengine inlets. 23rd AIAA/CEAS Aeroacoustics Conference, Denver CO, 5-6 June 2017, AIAA-2017-3704.

2016

Gabard G. Boundary layer effects on liners for aircraft engines. Journal of Sound and Vibration 381, 2016, 30-47.

Kim J-W, Haeri, S and Joseph P. On the reduction of aerofoil-turbulence interaction noise associated with wavy leading edges. J. Fluid Mech., 2016, 792, 526-552 (10.1017/jfm.2016.95).

Sandberg, R D and Tester B J. Mach number scaling of individual azimuthal modes of subsonic co-flowing jets. Journal of Fluid Mechanics 793, 2016, 209-28.

Stalnov O, Paruchuri C, Joseph P F. Towards a non-empirical trailing edge noise prediction model. Journal of Sound and Vibration, 2016, 372, 50–68.

Chen J, Joseph P, Tester B. Theory and application of the two-microphone method for mode detection in aero-engines. 20th Workshop of the Aeroacoustics Specialist Committee of the CEAS: Measurement Techniques and Analysis Methods for Aircraft Noise, Southampton UK, 7-8 September 2016.

Chen J, Joseph, P. Measurement techniques for mode detection in aeroengine inter-stage sections. 22nd AIAA/CEAS Aeroacoustics Conference, Lyon, France, 30 May - 1 June 2016, AIAA-2016-2877.

Clair V, Gabard G. Numerical investigation on the spectral broadening of acoustic waves by a turbulent layer. 22nd AIAA/CEAS Aeroacoustics Conference, Lyon, France, 30 May - 1 June 2016, AIAA-2016-2701.

Gaffney J, McAlpine A, Kingan M J. Sound radiation of fan tones from an installed turbofan aero-engine: fuselage boundary-layer refraction effects. 22nd AIAA/CEAS Aeroacoustics Conference, Lyon, France, 30 May - 1 June 2016, AIAA-2016-2878.

Hainaut T, Gabard G, Clair V. A CAA study of turbulence distortion in broadband fan interaction noise. 22nd AIAA/CEAS Aeroacoustics Conference, Lyon, France, 30 May - 1 June 2016, AIAA-2016-2839.

Hart A, Holland K, Joseph P. Processing and measurement methods for jet engine combustion noise. 20th Workshop of the Aeroacoustics Specialist Committee of the CEAS: Measurement Techniques and Analysis Methods for Aircraft Noise, Southampton UK, 7-8 September 2016.

Holland K R, Nelson P A. The Bounded Correlation Length Inverse Method. 20th Workshop of the Aeroacoustics Specialist Committee of the CEAS: Measurement Techniques and Analysis Methods for Aircraft Noise, Southampton UK, 7-8 September 2016.

McAlpine A, Tester B J. A weak-scattering model for tone haystacking caused by sound propagation through an axisymmetric turbulent shear layer. 22nd AIAA/CEAS Aeroacoustics Conference, Lyon, France, 30 May - 1 June 2016, AIAA-2016-2702.

Murray P B, Donnan C, Astley R J. Development of a single degree of freedom micro-perforate impedance model under grazing flow and high SPL. 22nd AIAA/CEAS Aeroacoustics Conference, Lyon, France,
30 May - 1 June 2016, AIAA-2016-2982.

Paruchuri C, Coupland J, Joseph P. Aerofoil geometry effects on turbulence interaction noise in cascades. 22nd AIAA/CEAS Aeroacoustics Conference, Lyon, France, 30 May - 1 June 2016, AIAA-2016-2738.

Paruchuri C, Narayanan S, Joseph P, Kim J W. Leading edge serration geometries for significantly enhanced leading edge noise reductions. 22nd AIAA/CEAS Aeroacoustics Conference, Lyon, France, 30 May – 1 June 2016, AIAA-2016-2736.

Prinn A G, Sugimoto R, Astley R J. The effect of steady flow distortion on noise propagation in turbofan intakes. 22nd AIAA/CEAS Aeroacoustics Conference, Lyon, France, 30 May - 1 June 2016, AIAA-2016-3028.

Rosa R, Self R, Ilario C. Modelling velocity correlations with LES and RANS for prediction of noise from isothermal or hot jets. 22nd AIAA/CEAS Aeroacoustics Conference, Lyon, France, 30 May - 1 June 2016, AIAA-2016-2810.

Serrano P G, Gabard G, Murray P, Astley R J. Non-linear interaction of multiple tones on perforated liners. 22nd AIAA/CEAS Aeroacoustics Conference, Lyon, France, 30 May - 1 June 2016, AIAA-2016-2790.

Tester B J, Özyörük Y, Sutliff D L, Bozak R F. Validation of an in-duct to far-field beamformer method for predicting far-field fan broadband noise. 22nd AIAA/CEAS Aeroacoustics Conference, Lyon, France, 30 May - 1 June 2016, AIAA-2016-2894.

Tester B J, Özyörük Y, Sutliff D L, Bozak R F. Validation of an in-duct to far-field beamformer method for predicting far-field fan broadband noise. 20th Workshop of the Aeroacoustics Specialist Committee of the CEAS: Measurement Techniques and Analysis Methods for Aircraft Noise, Southampton UK,
7-8 September 2016.

Vera J, Lawernce J, Kingan M, Self R, Sinayoko S. Hydrodynamic pressure field propagation model for the prediction of the far-field sound produced by jet-wing interaction. 22nd AIAA/CEAS Aeroacoustics Conference, Lyon, France, 30 May - 1 June 2016, AIAA-2016-2859.

2015

McAlpine A, Gaffney J, Kingan M. Near-field sound radiation of fan tones from an installed turbofan aero-engine. JASA 2015, 138(3), 1313-24.

Mustafi P., Astley R.J., Sugimoto R., Kempton A.J. Acoustic effects of liner damage on zero-splice turbofan intake liners: Computational study. AIAA Journal 2015, 53(3), 703-12.

Narayanan S, Chaitanya P, Haeri S, Joseph P, Kim J W, Polacsek C. Airfoil noise reductions through leading edge serrations. Physics of Fluids 2015, 27(021509-1).

Olivetti S, Sandberg R D, Tester B J. Direct numerical simulation of turbulent flow with an impedance condition. Journal of Sound and Vibration 2015, 344, 28-37.

Sureshkumar P, Kingan M, Parry A. Predicting the Noise of an Open Rotor in a Wind Tunnel. International Journal of Aeroacoustics.

Chaitanya P, Narayanan S, Joseph P. A novel leading edge serrations for low frequency broadband attenuation. X-Noise / CEAS Workshop, La Rochelle, France, 22-25 September 2015.

Clair V, Gabard G. Computational study of the spectral broadening of an acoustic tone by turbulence. ICSV2015, Florence, Italy, 12-16 July 2015.

Chaitanya P, Gill J, Narayanan S, Joseph P, Vanderwel C, Zhang X, Ganapathisubramani B. Aerofoil Geometry effects on turbulence interaction noise. 21st AIAA/CEAS Aeroacoustics Conference Dallas, Texas, 22-26 June 2015.

Chaitanya P, Narayanan S, Joseph P, Kim J W, Vanderwel C, Ganapathisubramani B. Broadband noise reduction through leading edge serrations on realistic aerofoils. 21st AIAA/CEAS Aeroacoustics Conference Dallas, Texas, 22-26 June 2015.

Clair V, Gabard G. Numerical assessment of the scattering of acoustic waves by turbulent structures. 21st AIAA/CEAS Aeroacoustics Conference Dallas, Texas, 22-26 June 2015.

Ekoule C M, Kingan M J, McAlpine A, Sohoni N, Parry A B. Hybrid Use of CFD and Analytical Methods for the Prediction of Advanced Open Rotor Tone Noise. 21st AIAA/CEAS Aeroacoustics Conference Dallas, Texas, 22-26 June 2015.

Hainaut T, Gabard G, Clair V. CAA Study of Airfoil Broadband Interaction Noise Using Stochastic Turbulent Vorticity Sources. 21st AIAA/CEAS Aeroacoustics Conference Dallas, Texas, 22-26 June 2015.

Lawrence J L T, Self R H. Installed Jet-Flap Impingement Noise. 21st AIAA/CEAS Aeroacoustics Conference Dallas, Texas, 22-26 June 2015.

Maldonado A L P, Astley R J, Coupland J, Gabard G. Sound Propagation in Lined Annular Ducts with Mean Swirling Flow. 21st AIAA/CEAS Aeroacoustics Conference Dallas, Texas, 22-26 June 2015.

Nelson P A, Holland K R. Aeroacoustic source characterisation using inverse methods. ICSV2015, Florence, Italy, 12-16 July 2015.

Özyörük Y, Coupland J, Tester B J. Numerical investigation of spinning mode transmission through variable area annular ducts with flow. ICSV2015, Florence, Italy, 12-16 July 2015.

Prinn A, Astley R J, Sugimoto R. Predicting the effect of flow distortion on in-duct acoustic propagation. ICSV2015, Florence, Italy, 12-16 July 2015.

Rosa V, Self R H, Ilario C. Scaling of noise from heated subsonic jets with parameters from RANS CFD. 23rd ABCM International Congress of Mechanical Engineering, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 6-11 December 2015.

Tester B J, Holland K. Estimating the sound power radiated by the nozzle-based source on a long cowl engine using phased arrays in a semi-reverberant test cell. 21st AIAA/CEAS Aeroacoustics Conference Dallas, Texas, 22-26 June 2015.

Tester B J, Özyörük Y, Sutliff and Bozak. Predicting far-field broadband noise levels from in-duct phased array measurements. ICSV2015, Florence, Italy, 12-16 July 2015.

Venkatesh B J, Self R. Parametric Study of Jet Nozzles Using a RANS-Based Jet Noise Prediction Tool. 21st AIAA/CEAS Aeroacoustics Conference Dallas, Texas, 22-26 June 2015.

Vera J, Lawrence J L T, Self R H, Kingan M J. Using a cylindrical Green’s function to predict installed surface pressure spectra. 21st AIAA/CEAS Aeroacoustics Conference Dallas, Texas, 22-26 June 2015.

2018

PhD student Alex James won ‘best technical contents’ award at FFT Acoustic Simulation Conference 2018 in Toulouse between 9-11 October 2018 for his presentation on “Modelling boundary layer effects in ActranTM for tonal sound propagation in turbofan intakes”.

 

Recipients of the CEAS Aeroacoustics Award

2016 Professor Jeremy Astley

2011 Professor Christopher Morfey

2009 Dr Brian Tester 

Citation: For ‘his pioneering contributions to the aeroacoustics of turbofan engine noise’.

 

Recipients of the Aeroacoustics Award

2005 Dr Michael J. Fisher 

AIAA Citation: For outstanding contributions to the fundamental understanding of jet noise and prediction of shock-associated noise, coaxial jet noise and turbofan buzz saw noise, and development of advanced measurement methods.

2002 Professor Christopher Morfey

A brief history of the Rolls-Royce University Technology Centre in Gas Turbine Noise at the Institute of Sound and Vibration Research 

Over the last two decades Rolls-Royce plc has set up a network of University Technology Centres to support academic research in a range of key technology areas. Long-term relationships have been established at different universities as part of the Rolls-Royce research and development strategy, with a view to building and maintaining a critical mass of knowledge and expertise in different subject areas at the UTCs.  Today this global network consists of thirty UTCs, and the subject areas include materials, heat transfer and aerodynamics, controls and systems engineering, gas turbine transmission systems and gas turbine noise. 

The UTC in gas turbine noise was officially launched on Tuesday 30th November 1999, and is based at the Institute of Sound and Vibration Research, University of Southampton. Initially Rolls-Royce planned to invest £1.6M over five years to establish the new noise UTC. At the onset, the key aim of the noise UTC was to work on problems related to generation and propagation of noise from gas turbine engines. Aircraft noise is a critical technical issue which needs to be addressed. One of the principal aims in the ACARE (Advisory Council for Aeronautics Research in Europe) 2020 vision is a 50% reduction in the perceived average noise levels. Notwithstanding the major advances that have been made in the past to reduce noise from aircraft engines, along with considerable investment in aircraft noise research, this vision still requires significant technological advances to make aeroplanes substantially quieter.  

The original director of the noise UTC was Professor Philip Nelson. Subsequently Professor Nelson was promoted to director of ISVR and then deputy vice-chancellor of the University of Southampton. Thus, in September 2001, Professor Jeremy Astley took over the role of UTC director. Professor Astley has now been the UTC director for ten years; more recently he has combined this role with the directorship of ISVR. 

The centre was originally managed by Dr Mike Fisher. Dr Fisher had worked in collaboration with Rolls-Royce for over thirty years prior to the inception of the UTC, and his long-standing efforts to establish and sustain a link between the ISVR and Rolls-Royce was undoubtedly a key factor in the formation of the noise UTC at the Institute. Dr Fisher was awarded the AIAA aeroacoustics award in 2005, prior to his retirement in 2006. Since then the UTC has been managed by Dr Rod Self. At present the UTC has around twenty-five staff, which includes University staff, Research Fellows, Research Associates and Doctoral students. Each year several new doctoral students will join the UTC and start PhD or EngD projects, whilst a number of doctoral students will graduate, so the total number of UTC staff generally remains year-on-year fairly static. 

The framework of the UTC is a relationship which provides unique links not only to Rolls-Royce but through it and through joint activities to many organisations and industrial partners in the aerospace sector within the UK and throughout Europe. As well as direct funding from Rolls-Royce, research income is sought from UK and European programmes. During the last decade the UTC has participated in a range of UK and EC projects. The original X-Noise project started in 1998, and when the UTC started (in 1999) the group were involved with the European projects RESOUND, RANNTAC, RAIN and DUCAT, all of which were organised under the auspices of the newly formed X-Noise consortium. Since then the UTC has participated in many subsequent EC projects, including two major noise projects: SILENCE(R) and OPENAIR. Also the ISVR/UTC acts as the national focal point for the new X-Noise EV project. Through its participation in National and European noise projects, and direct collaboration with Rolls-Royce, the UTC group has been able to accumulate and retain a critical mass of experience and expertise in aircraft noise research. 

The UTC group's activities encompass a wide range of experimental, theoretical and computational work which is applied to investigate all aspects of aircraft noise, in particular noise from turbofan engines and (more recently) open rotors. Broadly the technical work can be categorized as: fan and turbine noise: duct acoustics; jet noise; and, advanced measurement techniques. 

Over the past decade, the group has investigated fan tone and turbomachinery broadband noise. Key research activities have included developing an engineering prediction method to predict “buzz-saw” or “multiple pure tone” noise from turbofan engines, and a range of predictive schemes to investigate broadband noise sources such as rotor-wake/stator interaction noise and rotor trailing edge (self) noise. Also advanced measurement techniques have been applied to broadband source localisation and characterisation, such as separating rotor and stator noise sources.  

Much of the effort on duct acoustics has focused on the use of linear acoustic propagation codes to investigate sound propagation and radiation from turbofan inlet and bypass ducts. These ducts contain acoustic lining, which has proved to be a highly effective noise control method. A key requirement is the ability to predict sound attenuation in lined flow ducts, and to understand how the attenuation can be increased. The group have researched various ways to improve sound attenuation in turbofan duct systems, including splice-less liners, segmented and other novel liner configurations, as well as the effect on the attenuation caused by non-uniform flow and geometry. 

The basis of much of the group’s jet noise research has been to develop engineering prediction schemes which incorporate aerodynamic data related to the turbulent flow field obtained from CFD simulations and input to the acoustic model. Over the past decade, a range of predictive schemes have been developed to examine single and coaxial jets, also taking into account temperature effects. The overall aim is to be able to address a variety of turbulent flow fields, including those generated by serrated and other non-axisymmetric nozzles. Other important elements of the group’s jet noise research has included improving near-field prediction capability, and examining how to predict noise inside the cone of silence. 

Advanced measurement techniques have been developed for model-scale and full-scale testing. Research facilities for noise research at the UTC include the DARP and Doak-jet facilities. The DARP (Defence and Aerospace Research Partnership) facility was commissioned in 2006 and is a low-turbulence, low-noise open-jet wind-tunnel facility housed in the ISVR anechoic chamber for the measurement of aerodynamic noise. The newly commissioned Doak-jet facility is a state-of-the-art facility for conducting laboratory scale jet-noise experiments, and has been used recently for a measurement program testing novel bleed valve designs. The UTC is well known for its work on applying inverse techniques to quantify acoustic sources on engines. A key long-standing research programme has involved the use of inverse techniques to identify acoustic sources in reverberant environments, so that acoustic testing could be conducted in test-cells, which traditionally would be highly unsuitable environments to gather any acoustic data for jet engines. 

More recently focus has turned to noise generated by open rotors, which offer the potential to be more fuel efficient compared to turbofan jet engines, but pose some challenging technical issues related to noise. Other areas of new research such as aircraft engine installation acoustics are also becoming more important as a more holistic approach to the noise problem is sought, and novel ideas and concepts such as using the airframe to shield noise are investigated more thoroughly. 

The Rolls-Royce University Technology Centre in Gas Turbine Noise at ISVR is an example of a long-standing collaborative arrangement between one of the UK’s (and the world’s) premier engineering companies, and one of the world’s leading research institutes on sound and vibration engineering. The relationship between academic research and its impact on people, society, and the economy, is one which is important to highlight and to promote in order to maximise the usefulness of new knowledge and technological advances. Noise research at the UTC covers the whole range of technology readiness levels. Over the past decade the noise UTC has proved a successful venture bringing together academic and industry research and development on aircraft noise.   

Alan McAlpine    April 2012

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